Friday, 30 December 2011

Tip Ex-Monkee

I own this album for one reason and one reason only: 'Rio'.
At the height of punk, towards the end of a most depressing decade, a bobble hat free Michael Nesmith released this cheesy, hyperbolically arranged, over-produced lounge classic as a single.

And from that description, it should be awful, right? Ephemeral trash, dumped out with other past garbage.
But no.
It's a marvellous song. One that has its tongue so firmly wedged in its cheek it almost chokes.

The lyrics offer what seem to be the stream of consciousness of an old stoner, one who just can't make up his mind.
What with his "I think I will travel to Rio", "I probably won't fly down to Rio" and the final non-committal "But then again I just might".
Love it!
The music is so cloying in its ludicrous arrangement, it fits the sincere ambivalence perfectly.

But it was the promotional film accompanying the track that really sold it.
The perfect package, the perfect marriage: sound and vision.
And 'Rio' was essentially one of the first of its kind: a promo, or hey, video [hip!], that people actually liked and enjoyed watching, over and over again.
I still watch it now. It's still funny and still compelling.
Check it out:

After the brilliant opening the rest of the album is rather flat.
It's okay, I guess, but apart from 'Rio' Nesmith really only lets his hair down, appearing to have a good time - and not be so concerned for his seemingly damned soul (had he murdered somebody or something?) - during the last number 'The Other Room'.

So it begins brilliantly, ends well, but unfortunately the filling is rather soggy.
Hey, that sounds a bit like....

Michael Nesmith - From a Radio Engine to the Proton Wing (1977)

Casablanca Moonlight
More Than We Imagine
Navajo Trail
We Are Awake
Wisdom Has Its way
Love's First Kiss
The Other Room

Decent vinyl rip @320kbs
Hole thing here
For a nice copy of 'Rio' on its own @320kbs go here

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